Inderscience Publishers

Accident scenarios for marshalling yards in The Netherlands: Private or public fire fighting

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Courtesy of Inderscience Publishers

Since the introduction of the Seveso and Seveso II directive (1996), many Western European countries have had the opportunity to demand that installations processing hazardous materials have a private fire brigade. In the Netherlands, based on the Dutch company fire brigade decree, certain companies can be compelled to have a private fire brigade (BZK, 1990). Hazardous materials are processed at about 40 marshalling yards (belonging to the infraprovider ProRail) and therefore a company fire brigade might be compulsory. In the Rotterdam harbour area, for several years, a (juridical) discussion has been going on between the Rotterdam municipality and ProRail concerning the marshalling yards in this area. In August 2007, this dispute was brought to the highest court for such affairs in the Netherlands, the Administrative Jurisdiction Division of the Council of State. To provide input for this juridical process, an analysis was made for six ProRail marshalling yards, each processing hazardous materials. The results indicate that accident scenarios involving toxic and flammable substances are possible. Based upon the type, development and extent of the accidents, some of these credible scenarios determine the fire fighting quality and quantity, the so-called design scenarios. The Council of State relates the fire brigade capacity to the credible scenarios and not to the design scenarios. The result is that ProRail might be responsible for organising and financing private fire brigades at about 40 marshalling yards.

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